Is the Oilers Drafting Record THAT Bad?

This is Kevin Prendergast, the Oilers chief scout. Edmonton fans seem to be fairly divided about his performance at this weekend’s draft, but the majority agree that Edmonton’s draft record has been shoddy for years.

I don’t really know the best way to measure these things, but ‘career games played’ is the weighting system that seems the fairest (still nicks the goalies a little, but they can’t skate so to hell with them).

There’s also the question of how many years it takes to measure a draft. I think we can probably have a glance at 2001 (the first official KP era draft) and shed some light on the situation. Here’s the players and career GP by NW team:

EDM: Hemsky (275gp), Doug Lynch (2gp, then injured), Markkanen (128gp), Kari Haakana (13gp), Ales Pisa (53gp)

CAL: Kobasew (220gp), Tomi Maki (1gp), David Moss (41gp)

COL: Peter Budaj (91gp), Danny Bois (1gp), Cody McCormick (95gp), Charlie Stephens (8gp), Marek Svatos (131gp)

MIN: Mikko Koivi (146gp), Kyle Wanvig (68), Stephane Veilleux (203gp), Tony Virta (8gp), Derek Boogaard (113gp)

VAN: RJ Umberger (154gp), Fedor Fedorov (18gp), Kevin Bieksa (120gp), Jason King (55gp)

Going by GP totals:

  1. Minnesota 538gp
  2. Edmonton 471gp
  3. Vancouver 347gp
  4. Colorado 326gp
  5. Calgary 262gp
  • Minnesota first drafted 6th, Edmonton 13th (traded up to get Hemsky, they really did), Calgary 14th, Vancouver picked 16th and Colorado 63rd.
  • Vancouver had 6 picks, Minnesota 7, Colorado 10, Edmonton 11, Calgary 11.
  • Edmonton “cheated” because so many of the overagers made the team, but I think you also have to give credit for stocking the shelves cheaply.

Based on that info, Vancouver (6 picks, first one at 16) and Colorado (10 picks, but first one at 63rd) should have been expected to have had the poorest performance. Agree?

  1. Minnesota had a nice draft, Koivu is a player and they got two nice role players.
  2. Edmonton got Hemsky, plus did a nice job with the overagers.
  3. Vancouver drafted two actual NHL players and may have had the best day.
  4. Colorado also got two players, including Svatos after Bettman went home.
  5. Calgary is funny.

Oilers got the best player in Hemsky. Agree?

So if we’re going to say the Oilers are a poor drafting team, can we point to 2001? I don’t think we can.

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38 Responses to "Is the Oilers Drafting Record THAT Bad?"

  1. jon says:

    I think that quite frankly it’s too soon to tell for the current management. Surely Niinimaki was a miss, but all the following draft years still have a year or two before we can make judgements on their selection. As is often the case, the management that follows almost always gets the credit for the picks of the previous “failed” management (see Anaheim with Getzlaf, Perry, etc all from the Murray regime). However it also works the other way, and the often cited inability of the Oilers to draft skilled forwards is largely an impression left by the previous management (Alexei Mikhnov, Jani Rita, Michael Henrich, Michel Riesen, Boyd Devereaux, Steve Kelly, Jason Bonsignore) in my opinion.

    However, it is seeming thus far that the current management does a very good job with drafting and developing defensemen and an average to above-average job drafting forwards. We should probably just avoid mentioning goalies. ;)

  2. doritogrande says:

    “We should probably just avoid mentioning goalies. ;)”

    I think it’s still too early to judge our goalie prospects from the KP era, as we’ve only had one come through the system. In all fairness, Jussi Markkanen’s a solid goalie, which counterpoints your statement. JDD got hurt, and missed practically an entire season and is only just getting back on track. He’s still got a shot at being somebody in the NHL, and is probably going to be at least a Jamie Maclennan/Scott Clemmenson someday. Dubnyk’s still only 21, way too young to be considered NHL material unless your name is Tom Barasso, Patrick Roy, or…unfortunately…Carey Price. If we rush Devan Dubnyk into a situation he isn’t prepared for, he could wind up being the Oiler equivalent of Hannu Toivonen in that he’s got the talent, but hasn’t seen enough rubber yet.

    There aren’t really a lot of NHL teams that have great success developing goalies. Off the top of my head, only Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Montreal, and possibly Dallas come to mind. If we take the Northwest division as an example, only one team’s starting goalie was drafted by the team, Peter Budaj in Colorado. Fernandez in Minnesota (Backstrom was a free agent signing), Kipper in Calgary, Roloson in Edmonton, and Luongo in Vancouver were all traded for. Sometimes, you just have to be lucky to be good. Other times, you have to trade to be good.

  3. namflashback says:

    LT, this sounds like its going to be a series of posts. I’m popping some popcorn. Good viewing. Thanks.

  4. Colby Cosh says:

    Dubnyk’s still only 21, way too young to be considered NHL material unless your name is Tom Barasso, Patrick Roy, or…unfortunately…Carey Price.

    Or Luongo. Or Brodeur. Or DiPietro. Or Fleury, Ward, or Khabibulin. A fair number of goalies are in the league as quality backups at 21, and at least as many are front-rank starters in Europe. I’m not saying Dubnyk hasn’t had distinctive disadvantages but he can’t be considered still ahead of the age curve now.

  5. Big T says:

    They did well with Hemsky and Markannen in ’01 no doubt. Stoll came in ’02 I believe which would have to be considered a positive pick although they certianly botched picking Ninnimaki. Pouliot appears to be the cream of ’03 and then the Schremp/Dubnyk experiment still lives on. Wait and see there for sure.

    I think I jumped too quickly on Prendergast although he certianly was the guy who would have orchestrated moving up to get Nash. That’s still a mistake to my eyes, though he may turn into a player after all. Still seems like a step backwards to take only one player when you could have had two comparable players. Time will tell as it sounds like they’ve had just about every pair of eyes in the organization take a look at this kid.

    Apparently Prendergast was on Stauffer and cited make-up issues for both Esposito and Cherepanov. That’s an arguement I can get behind as the transfer agreement thing doesn’t hold a lot of water with me. If they’re that talented any organization should happily fork over the cash to bring them over.

    LT; I assume you’ll be posting something on the ’02 draft soon. Enough time should have passed to at least get a preliminary judgement on the thing.

    Of note – though it would require some heavy lifting – if we agree that the number of NHL games played is a good measure of draft success, perhaps a league average number of games played per draft year is the best measuring stick rather than just the Northwest division. Any ideas on how to weight this on draft position and number of picks? The Pens shouldn’t recieve any extra credit for drafting Crosby or Mario.

    T

  6. Bendelson says:

    Price is a lock, but Dubnyk is a huge question mark, if not a failure??

    Yes, Price looks to have a great future but considering they are both recent World Junior goalies with impressive (yet very different) skill sets, I fail to see the massive distinction as top prospects.

    Price is not going to play for the Habs this year as a #1. And if he does, the team will pay a ‘fee’ in the short-term.

    If you wonder why Dubnyk hasn’t yet played in Edm, IMO it’s because the Oilers don’t want to throw away a couple of seasons while he learns the position on the fly. Look at Fleury his first 2 seasons… trial by fire, he wasn’t exactly stellar and yes, the team sucked, and that never helps.

    Yeah Doritogrande, better to see the rubber in a hopefully stable situation in the minors as the #1. One day, with any luck, they take over as the #1 for the big boys.

    Goalies are ready when they are ready. Patience is required.

    Plus, IMO the timing with Roloson’s contract/trade/demise and Dubnyk’s arrival in the NHL could be just about perfect – all things being equal.

    Finding a young, confident, long-term #1 goalie on the bench one day would be an awfully nice feather in the cap for KP.

    LT – I’m wondering what New Jersey’s draft record might look like… no doubt on another level of success(?).

  7. digger says:

    2001 was a bad draft year for New Jersey.

    Of the 10 players selected by them that year, only 2 have played an NHL game thus far, 86 games total.

    If you look at them from 2000 on, I only see 3 draft picks that have turned into quality players:

    Parise
    Zajac
    Martin

  8. MikeP says:

    Bendelson, I started to touch on that – New Jersey’s draft record – in a post of my own, but decided to shelve it for a while, time-lack. However, I intend to go back and re-do my CHL draft sources info from 2005, so I’ll touch on which teams seem to boom or bust then.

    LT, for what it’s worth, I used NHL games played as my metric as well.

  9. godot10 says:

    The Oilers drafted Jeff Petry from the USHL high last year.

    The rest of the NHL rerated upward USHL pool of defensement this year, with several/many picks going in the first round.

    Arguably, the Oilers recognized the improvement in the USHL first last year.

  10. momentai says:

    When I look at our recent drafts, I think one single thing stands out the most: the total and utter lack of success of the organization to draft/develop young European talent.

    Methinks maybe we need an upgrade on old Kenta and Frank over there in the boonies. Their batting average is just freaking terrible.

  11. Dennis says:

    I can’t say for sure how great their draft record’s been, but I really don’t care how everyone else has done, it just bothers me that after all the bleating about stockpiling picks and assets and we probably won’t use all our ’07 1st round selections, the Oilers once again come away empty handed.

    I think this speaks first and foremost to perceived depth on the Oilers side and actual depth from the eyes of the other GM’s. Sure, there’s gonna be a tonne of interest in Torres but who else? Stoll and Horc and it’s hard to get better when you trade them and it’s virtually impossible to get better if you’re trading them without taking big a huge chunk of salary and we know that the Oilers paid Pronger and after that no one else has been allowed to make 5 million.

    Not even Ryan Smyth.

    Around the time of Easter when the Journal did that “special” section on what went wrong with ’07, Mackinnon did a piece with Lowe where Kevin basically said that the prospect corps to build around was Cogs, Chorney and Petry. No mention of Smid or Schremp so I think that was basically Lowe admitting that the guys in tehir early 20′s aren’t the ones who can be moved for anything signicant.

    And that speaks to drafts past.

  12. Dennis says:

    If the Oilers come away empty-handed after blowing hard about being willing to spend money or about how much depth they have, it means they’re either not really willing to spend money or that there’s only about three or four players in the org that teams really value.

    Either scnario doesn’t paint the Oil in a positive light.

  13. Big T says:

    momentai;

    Good point regarding the success of drafting europeans who are playing in Europe. Hemsky, Truhkno were both drafted form the CHL. Ninnimaki from the SEL I beleive.

    Doesn’t sound promising for the three Euros taken on Saturday. Of course they’re all flyers anyways so we shouldn’t expect much.

    T

  14. Big T says:

    Man Dennis,

    Why don’t you start talking about how long ago Lowe should have moved Salo as well. You’re not happy. We get it.

    I’ve heard you add a lot of quality thoughts to the conversation in the past. I read every one of your posts hoping that this post is the one where you’re gonna get back to doing just that – adding quality thoughts to the discussion.

    You’re certianly on record for how you feel about Lowe and the EIG. Move on buddy.

    T

  15. godot10 says:

    //Pronger and after that no one else has been allowed to make 5 million.
    Not even Ryan Smyth.//

    Err,,,Ryan Smyth turned down $5.4 million over 5 years.

    They offered Chara over $7 million last year.

  16. Barry says:

    There is an interesting question when it comes to drafting: Do you want to take super talented guys with “issues” or guys you think will play in the NHL but maybe not be superstars?

    Esposito and Cherapnov seem to be the former. I think given the Oilers experience with all the above noted “failures” they have shifted to an emphasis on guys who bring it every night and can play a two way game. The exception recently has been Schremp. (How is that working out?)

    In other words, I think the emphasis has shifted from who has the highest upside (which is the emphasis of ISS etc.) to who has the best chance to play for us in the NHL.

    It is a conservative approach to be sure. The criticism is that you can’t teach a guy to throw a 97 mph fastball but you should be able to teach a guy to hit the strike zone. Well it doesn’t happen. The minors (and even the majors – see Daniel Cabrera he of the 98 mph heater and a yearly ERA around 6.00) are full of guys who can throw hard but can’t hit the strike zone. They don’t pan out.

    I think Lowe and friends recognize that an inabilty to overcome “make up” issues is more important than the ability to skate. No one can say Niinimaki or Bonsignore don’t have talent. People rave about Niinimaki at practice but he cannot bring it in a game.

    What did you get this draft? Two guys whose dad’s played years in the NHL (Gagne and Pante, who are good bets to have the mental stuff sorted out) and another whose “makeup” was judged to be off the charts (Nash). Along with this they appear to have NHL talent. I’ll take that over a couple of talented headcases any day.

    In fact, I think they fit the mold of most of the the Oilers more successful (and popular) recent players: Smyth, Stoll, Pisani, Horcoff, Smith.

  17. jon says:

    A few days removed from the draft and quite few drinks removed from the system, this draft will most likely go done as a quality one for the team, though Lowe and Prendergast will most likely be long gone before it’s realized.

    Thoughts on why:
    - Gagner’s defense is more opinion on my part, but I really think he will be the best or second best overall player from this draft. Seriously. He’s extremely young relative to Kane and other draftees, he’s mature, he’s willing to play both ways, and he has that high end hockey sense that will just allow him to dominate when playing against lesser competition as in his final year of junior.
    - They said they didn’t like Cherepanov from his interview and his reaction at the draft suggests that he maybe just might have an attitude problem. Fair enough. They said they made a scouting call on Esposito and thought that he’s not quite as good as everyone initially did. I guess we’ll have to wait and see on that one.
    - On Plante, they seem to know defensemen and this guy was admittedly shooting up the rankings in the second half of the year and is also one of the younger players in the draft. Possible that it ends up being a quality choice.
    - On Nash, if this is indeed a very shallow draft, it is not totally out of line to draft a Moreau-type player in the 20s, especially when considering we didn’t have any more picks until the “take a flyer” rounds in 4-6. Even recently we see players like O’Marra and Kesler being taken in the second half of the first and if Nash is a superior character player then it’s not necessarily a bad pick.
    - For the European late rounders, odds are we never seem them play an AHL game let alone an NHL game, but 3 NHL calibre players (Gagner, Plante, Nash) from a shortened 7 round draft is probably going to contrast very well with most of the other teams. Certainly the fan boards are hailing Chicago as the winner of this draft because they got a massive amount of players who were ranked higher by most drafting services, but historically players who fall in that manner without an unrelated cause (lack of transfer agreement for example) tend not to turn out at all.

    Sorry to be so long winded, but in summary, I think when LT does a similar analysis in 10 or so years we come out winners from this draft year.

  18. George B says:

    The problem going by games played is that I would rather have the 80 games of Parise vs. 150 of Pouliot and JF Jacques.

  19. Oil Stain says:

    The Oilers drafting record certainly is not BAD since the start of the Prendergast era based on early results.

    Hemsky, Stoll, Greene, and Markkanen so far have netted them 4 players from their first two drafts. Two of them are well above replacement level players.

    I would definitely say there is still some room for improvement though.

    The European scouts have 20 selections amongst them 2000-2006 and not a single skater has gotten close to becoming an NHL regular. I’m not sure when Musil and Nilsson were hired but their amateur scouting looks rank.
    Heck their three selections from 2004-2006 (Bjurling, Petterson, and Bumagin) are basically all crapped out already and those drafts were practically yesterday in terms of the development cycle.

    The Oilers either need to get more scouts in Europe or add some quality because they really look to be handicuffing themselves by being unable to benefit from the ample talent pool across the pond.

    Besides that major defficiency the Oilers still haven’t completely shaken the “first round busters” tag. Hesmky was a home run, but was that just the law of averages? Niinimaki busted, Pouliot is well behind the curve in the 2003 draft with 19 players already having played 100+ NHL games, and Dubnyk and Schremp havn’t done anything to raise their stock. The shine is still on Cogliano, but he also hasn’t played pro yet. The Oilers desperately need 2-3 of these four to turn out to maintain what looks like a turnaround in the first round.

    Lastly, the Oilers really haven’t had much success in terms of quick transition from draft board to over the boards. From 2004 on about half the teams have already produced an NHL regular. From 2003 on virtually EVERY team has produced at least one player that has played the equivalent of a full NHL season. The Oilers haven’t.

    It looks like Pouliot will finally crack the big roster, but who knows if anyone else will stick this year. I don’t know whether to hang that on drafting or developement, but the Oilers need to find a way to get guys from the draft into their uniform in a shoter time span. Everything is sped up in the New NHL and the Oilers need to find guys who can contribute sooner.

  20. Dennis says:

    I don’t believe that the Oilers offered Chara 7 million, I just don’t.

    Ok, Smyth was offered 5.4 so I’ll change that to no one but Pronger is allowed to make MORE;) than 5.4 mill;)

    Hey, I keep bringing up the pronger and smyth debacles becuase these are recent examples of Lowe’s trading acumen. If we use a prospect’s stats to look at what his future can’t hold, why wouldn’t we look at a GM’s previous record and try and predict the same? And with the org being in such an obvious hole, it’s hard not to keep pointing out the reasons why. The B’s haven’t recovered from the Joe T deal but imagine if they’d pissed away both him AND patrice bergeron?

  21. Oil Stain says:

    You make good points Dennis, but they are way off topic. Chara has nothing to do with drafting.

    Anyway, I’m not really a big fan of the games played metric. To me the key is grabbing players that make an impact.

    If you look at the last four teams in the finals, Anaheim and Edmonton were three line teams, Ottawa was a one line team, and Carolina had it’s share of scrubs.
    It seems like every team in the league is going to be backfilled with pluggers to make room for the higher priced impact players.

    I’m not sure you can really consider a drafted player a success for the org. unless they become an above average scorer, a high quality checker, a top four D-man, or a starting goaltender.

    The NHL is just flooded with cheap lower end players. The Markkanen selection for instance can’t really be considered a coup when guys like Sanford and Auld are just lying around waiting to be plucked.

    Also it seems like teams aren’t going to be as willing to take time to develop a $1 million dollar first rounder on their 4th line for a couple of years when they can get plugs like Cowan for league minimum.

    If Jacques for example establishes himself as a decent 4th liner down the road it’d be hard to say that pick was a success as it’s actually counterproductive to be paying him on the fourth line when there were cheaper and equally effective options availible.

    Players need to develop quickely and with upside once they crack the NHL or they probably aren’t worth the effort.

  22. jon says:

    Some good points there Oil Stain.

  23. Lowetide says:

    oil stain:

    By any metric, the Oilers made out well in 2001. They drafted 13th and came away with one of the 5 or 6 best players in the draft.

  24. momentai says:

    If LT does one of these for 2002, I hope no Vancouver fan is paying attention. Yikes. 1GP total from their draft picks (even though they didn’t have a first rounder). Colorado wasn’t much better with 13GP (with 12GP from Gilbert at that).

  25. Dennis says:

    OK, let’s put it this way then. The Oilers are having a hard time making any kind of a deal that might vault them back to respectibility BECAUSE they haven’t drafted as well as they’d have you believe and thus they don’t have enough pieces to dangle. Sure, there’s 10-16-83-14 up front, but those guys are so affordable that you aren’t really gonna get ahead by dealing any of those.

    I had a laugh the other day when I read that Lowe said that nowadays the draft is more important than ever. Listen, the draft has always been important for cheap teams like the Oilers. The Oilers supposedly and probably still couldn’t spend to the limit of Det and NYR in the free market system and now that everyone has to play under the same rules, the Oilers are reportedly REFUSING to spend to the cap. So, yes, Kevin, the draft IS that important. And if you’d been drafting really well, you’d have a deal done by now.

  26. Barry says:

    Dennis,

    The issue of whether the Oil are spending to the cap is irrelevant. They are not being held back by that. Was last year casued by the failure to add that last guy to put them over the top?

    No, it was caused by Pronger (not a $ issue), Spacek (took equal offer elsewhere), and Peca (didn’t want to be here) leaving. Smyth was a money issue but the Oilers did not want to guarantee $5.5 million for 5 years. The idea was that they would have trouble getting everyone under the cap in year 4 and 5 and have an ineffective Smyth by then.

    Getting Free Agents to come to Edmonton has more to do with Steve Mandel and Mother Nature than Lowe’s inability to pay. How many Free Agents have wanted to come here, the Oilers have wanted them and the issue broke down over money? Other than Smyth, how many guys have been shipped out to save money?

  27. Aaron Paquette says:

    Pardon my obvious ignorance here…but what does the mayor have to do with it?

  28. MikeP says:

    oil stain, normally I’d agree with you re Markkanen, but he’s done something neither of those guys have: played 6 games in the Stanley Cup Finals, and did *extremely* well in a very difficult situation.

    Right there and for that alone, I’d rather have him than either of the other two you mention. He stepped back last season to be sure, but so did the rest of the team.

    That, to me, validates that draft – he’s more than covered his draft number.

    Where would Montreal have been in 1989 if Roy had been hurt and Red Light Racicot took to the ice?

  29. PDO says:

    Barry:

    Keep in mind this team was in first place in the NW at Christmas.

    What do you think would’ve happened if we had spent that extra $3,000,000 on a capable defenseman?

    Sure, we wouldn’t have been world beaters – but having a guy like Markov taking the minutes that Staios was taking?

    That would have been absolutey huge.

    And if you wanna get into what really fucked us in 06/07, it wasn’t drafting or the cap or anything like that.

    It was Kevin Lowe bending over the picnic table for Pronger while taking a nice ‘ole hot lunch from Brian Burke.

  30. Barry says:

    “What do you think would’ve happened if we had spent that extra $3,000,000 on a capable defenseman?”

    Maybe the Pronger trade was poorly done. Maybe not. That is an arguable point. My point was that the Oilers allegedly “being cheap” has nothing to do with their current predicament.

    I think it was well know that the Oil were willing to spend the $3 million a D man had they been able to snag one.

    The blame rests on a lot of factors for the Oilers situation. Cheapness is not a significant one. Therefore, I think people should drop it from their knee jerk criticism for the team.

    By the way, my reference to Mandel just meant that Edmonton is appearently not a cool place to live for FA’s.

  31. Dennis says:

    In letting Smyth walk over 1oo K a year, the Oilers proved to be either cheap or have no idea how the market works.

    You can’t let difference-makers and outscorers walk away when you’re thin in the depth dept. You can pick How the Oilers fucked up when it came to Smyth but you can’t say that they Didn’t. And because they did, now Lowe’s trying to over-reach in these trades and he’s really dealing from a disadvantage. Other clubs would Like to get something done, Lowe Has to get something done or else we’re no batter than 11th in the Conf.

  32. Barry says:

    Dennis

    In letting Smyth walk the Oilers have put themselves in a short term hole. This is obviously your focus.

    However, longterm (3+ years from now) they are in a better position that they would be had they signed Smyth. They have Nilson, OMara and Plante and $$ to spend.

    Overpaying Smyth for 5 years was not going to win them a cup. Bringing up a group of young players together hopefully will.

    Nothing personal but I find it remarkable how similar you sound to the Toronto media discussing the Leafs.

  33. Vic Ferrari says:

    All good points Dennis.

    Somewhere in St. Louis a Blues fan is cautioning the critics who are judging the Brewer/Woywitka/Lynch – Pronger trade. :)

    But in fairness, the Blues were dumping salary at the time, largely because they were for sale iirc.

    There is a big difference between cap teams and budget teams in the new NHL. The rich, profitable teams like Calgary can get away with some mistakes, and some injuries, and some off years by a few players. The poor cousin teams like Edmonton just can’t.

    And though I probably won’t watch much of it, the Oilers look to be well set to draft very high for 2 or 3 years now. They may have to move out Horcoff and/or Torres yet, but perhaps not, they have so many B-list prospects that failure should be a safe bet even with the 10ish quality NHLers they have on the roster. Time will tell.

  34. Oil Stain says:

    Lowetide: Completely agree. 2001 was a very solid draft for the Oilers.

    MikeP: I don’t know. 6 games is just 6 games. Brad Winchester had had 6 good games in a row. It’s pretty hard to say how Auld or Sanford would have performed in the same situation. I like their stats better in the last two seasons and they may have some upside. I think Markkanen has peaked.

  35. Dennis says:

    Barry, those three prospects, what are the chances that either of them becomes the difference-maker that Smyth Is and almost certainly will be for at least the next 3 years? Exactly. And money to spend? What does that mean when we haven’t seen any of it spent outside of Pronger? The Oilers let a proven guy who Actually would’ve stayed in Edm over 100K a year, yet I’m supposed to believe that they’ll spend it on anyone else? And while I hate making excuses for Lowe at this point, there’s a good reason to believe that most guys won’t want to play in Edm in the first place. Yet, once again, you let a guy go who wanted to stay here.

    And nothing personal back at you;) but if you’re still supporting Lowe after the Pronger/Smyth trades, then calling you a Leaves fan would actually be a Compliment:)

  36. Doogie says:

    The rich, profitable teams like Calgary can get away with some mistakes, and some injuries, and some off years by a few players. The poor cousin teams like Edmonton just can’t.

    Can someone please explain to me how the Oilers are a “poor cousin”, again? Somehow, I thought being 8th in gate receipts despite one of the smallest arenas in the league, to say nothing of having Cup run the year before and the goodwill/merchandise revenue it brings, kind of made you a big deal (okay, and a bit of a price-gouger, but that’s neither here nor there). Furthermore, “rich, profitable” Calgary, who got out-Calgaried in the first round by the Ducks in ’06, was ninth in gate receipts. I guess what I’m saying here is, what the fuck, Vic?

  37. Dennis says:

    I take it to mean that Vic’s saying the Oilers operate and spend like the poor cousins. We’ve seen a few pages of their books and we know what the Can dollar is worth these days, so there’s no question they’re making enough money to swing for the fences.

    But until they do and get super close to a cap in the high 40′s, there’s no reason to believe that they will.

  38. Doogie says:

    Ah. That point might have been clearer with those descriptors in quotes or something, because they are obvious nonsense when looked at in relation to reality.

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